There is good reason so many people make New Year’s resolutions. The preceeding weeks are usually filled with parties, social gatherings and sumptuous meals. After all the food, drinks and late nights, January is a time to scale back on the spending, take a break from the festivities and embrace some healthier habits.
Staying home becomes a pleasure after so many nights out, and preparing wholesome home-cooked meals sets one on the right track for sticking to those resolutions.
Although many may view cooking as yet another task to fit into a busy day, if you have the right tools, says Cynthia Hew, owner of Bon Vivant, food preparation becomes much easier, faster and more enjoyable.
The all-things-culinary store moved from Governors Square to significantly larger premises in Camana Bay in December. The added space means an expanded inventory of kitchen appliances, cookware and utensils as well as a double demo kitchen.
While restaurants around the Island are offering cooking classes to learn specific recipes, the Saturday demonstrations and weekday evening lessons at Bon Vivant will focus more on technique and learning to use your equipment to its fullest capabilities.
With all the tools, including instruction, being provided, there is no excuse for not cooking delicious, wholesome meals at home.
“Cooking at home saves you about 70 per cent in costs,” notes Cynthia – and it needn’t take up too much of your day.
“While the children are having their breakfast, you can be throwing ingredients into a slow cooker and by the time you get home in the evening, dinner is ready.”
Bon Vivant is a treasure trove of all things epicurean, from gadgets like potato peelers and nutmeg graters to induction stove tops, refrigerators and espresso machines. The inventory is vast and varied, but every item in the store is of high quality.
“Yes, these pepper grinders might be more expensive than those you would find in a grocery store, but they are made to last. This is the last pepper grinder you will never have to replace,” says Cynthia.
The same goes for just about any item in Bon Vivant. The Le Creuset cast iron cookware is made to last a lifetime, and beyond. Available in numerous sizes and colours, the oven proof pots cook food quickly and evenly and can be moved directly from the stove to the table. Non stick pans and individual cocotte dishes from Le Creuset are also now available as well as three-ply stainless steel cookware from AllClad.
Many of the appliances and utensils sold in the store are those that professional chefs use: Bon Vivant aims to make top-of-the-line equipment used in restaurants available to home cooks. The Vitamix blenders for example, are professional grade and can be used to mix anything from smoothies and soups to batters and frozen drinks.
Plate and glassware from leading brands is available, such as plates from Maxwell and Williams and high quality, durable glasses from Spiegelau, Riedel and Schott Zwiesel. Also now available for the residential market is a soda stream from Isi: Simply fill the bottle with water (you can add flavour with fruit juices if you choose – it comes with a recipe book) and screw on the CO2 cartridge and in a minute your drink is carbonated.
Large appliances are all leading brands, which focus equally on quality and energy efficiency. The induction stove tops from Gaggenau and Thermador are cool to the touch but transfer heat directly to the cookware without releasing heat into the room.
This technology is capable of heating water to boiling point in just 60 seconds and can cool down just as fast.
Smaller appliances such as the smart ovens from Breville provide a fast and efficient way to prepare small meals and snacks without the need to preheat a standard oven. Young gourmands who are curious about cooking are also well served with the range of child-friendly utensils and gadgets for making pizzas, cookies, cupcakes and more.
Outdoor cooks are equally well catered to with a dedicated barbecue section featuring Big Green Egg and Webber outdoor cookers that will grill, smoke or roast your meals to perfection. A variety of accessories and utensils are also available.
For the epicurious, Bon Vivant has every conceivable gadget and appliance for making cooking easy, fun and fast.